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Ridgewater takes two wins from Minn. West

Ridgewater's Kristin Kahle fires a pitch to a Minnesota West batter in the second game of a doubleheader on Saturday in Willmar. Kahle earned the win with four scoreless innings of relief, helping the Lady Warriors earn a 9-0, 3-2 sweep. Tribune photo by Rand Middleton

WILLMAR -- Ridgewater swept Minnesota West on Saturday to keep its hopes alive of at least sharing the MCAC Southern Division title.

Ridgewater topped Minnesota West 9-0 and 3-2 and remained one game behind Rochester, which plays Riverland in a doubleheader on Tuesday. If Rochester wins both games, it will clinch the title and also earn the right to host the region tournament. A split would put them in a tie with Ridgewater and a one-game playoff would be likely. If Riverland wins both, Ridgewater would win the crown outright.

In the first game on Saturday, Heather Thoma tossed a four-hit shutout with no walks and five strikeouts. Ashley Schmeling drove in three runs with a pair of doubles. Danyel Stoufer, Tina Queenan, Tara Thielke and Sam Drees all had two hits. Thielke knocked in two runs.

Schmeling's one-out double in the first inning scored Queenan, who reached on a fielder's choice after Stoufer had single, and advanced on an error.

Queenan and Thielke both singled with one out in the third and both scored on Schmeling's long double to left-center field.

The Lady Warriors scored five times in the bottom of the sixth inning to invoke the eight-run rule.

Merritt's doubles scored the final two runs.

In the second game, Ridgewater rallied from a 2-0 deficit, scoring two runs in the bottom of the fourth and the eventual winning run on Kristin Kahle's single in the fifth inning.

Kahle pitched four scoreless innings of relief for the win. She allowed four hits and one walk, while fanning two.

The Lady Warriors got their first two runs after loading the bases on on consecutive one-out singles by Aubrey Wren and Kahle and a walk to Kayla Terres. Danyel Stoufer then doubles in two runs.

In the fifth, Thielke led off with a single, Jodi Merritt walked and Kahle then hit a two-out single to score Thielke.

Game One

Ridgewater 9, Minnesota West 0

MN West 000 000 -- 0 4 2

Ridgewater 103 005 -- 9 13 0

HITTING - Minnesota West: Rachel Pavelko 1-for-3; Amanda Meyer 1-for-3; Lidia Mick 1-for-2; G.P. Vaske 1-for-3 ... Ridgewater: Danyel Stoufer 2-for-3, sf, rbi; Tina Queenan 2-for-3; Tara Thielke 2-for-4, 2 rbi; Ashley Schmeling 2-for-4, 2 2b's, 3 rbi; Jodi Merritt 1-for-4, 2 rbi; Sam Drees 2-for-3, rbi; Kayla Terres 1-for-3; Kim Brill 1-for-3, 3b

PITCHING (ip-h-r-er-bb-so) -- Minnesota West: Mel Anderson (L) 5Zc-13-9-5-0-1 ... Ridgewater: Heather Thoma (W) 6-4-0-0-0-5

Game Two

Ridgewater 3, Minnesota West 2

MN West 020 000 0 -- 2 11 1

Ridgewater 000 210 x -- 3 11 1

HITTING - Minnesota West: Amanda Meyer 2-for-4; G.P. Vaske 1-for-4; Dani Jo Thorson 2-for-3, 2b; Hannah Solem 2-for-3; Cassie Miller 1-for-3; Mel Anderson 1-for-3; Bre Rients 1-for-3 ... Ridgewater: Danyel Stoufer 2-for-4, 2b, 2 rbi; Tina Queenan 3-for-4; Tara Thielke 1-for-4; Aubrey Wren 1-for-3; Kristin Kahle 2-for-3; Kayla Terres 1-for-2; Steph Rhea 1-for-2

PITCHING (ip-h-r-er-bb-so) -- Minnesota West: Mel Anderson 6-11-3-3-1-0 ... Ridgewater: Molly Anderson 3-6-2-1-0-1, Kristin Kahle (W) 4-4-0-0-1-2